Life, like a bucket, is something we aspire to fill. Some fill it up with adventures or goals. Others fill it with family. Most days, our buckets are as full as we can manage. However, when the fullness of our buckets overflows, that’s when we need to step back and evaluate our bucket. We may discover that our bucket has rusted, cracked, or has a punctured bottom that has been leaking water. Now that we’ve discovered that our buckets need attention and mending, it’s a no-brainer that we fix it, right?
Then why is it so hard to give attention to our own needs when we need them?
The Value of Self-Care
Self-care is identifying what you need, so you can be at your best consistently. It isn’t indulgent or selfish. It’s not time consuming either. You may have read different self-care strategies that include buying items like candles, ready-made comfort food, and face masks, and there is certainly a use for that if it works for you, but self-care doesn’t always require consumption to take care of ourselves. In fact, many self-care practices don’t involve consumption at all. They just need you to look within and pay attention to your needs to ensure that you are being cared for by you.
One low waste way to start your day is to list five things you're grateful for. It’s a simple task that won’t take up much of your time, and it will help you maintain a positive and uplifting mindset at the start of your day. While reaching for your phone before getting out of bed is tempting, practicing gratitude at the beginning of our day ensures that we’re not plugging ourselves into our technology, but rather plugging ourselves into a positive and grateful mindset.
Another act of self-care is exercising. Our physical health is critical to our overall well being, so opt to show your body some love through exercise. Some examples include but aren’t limited to: going for a walk, a bike ride, stretching out on a woven towel, practicing yoga, or playing a favourite sport. Also, many of our exercise activities can be done at home or in our neighbourhoods, which reduces our carbon footprint. Not only can self-care be low waste, but it can lower our carbon footprint too.
Spend Time with a Friend or Loved One
Self-care isn’t solely focused on our physical health. It also includes filling our need to connect with others. That’s why spending quality time with a friend or a loved one is another self-care practice that we can lean into. Whether you need to vent to a friend, share stories with a relative, or play a game with your kids, building and nourishing all of our most important relationships is an ongoing and rewarding process. While we all enjoy meeting up for drinks or a meal with a friend, there are other ways we can spend time together while lowering our waste. Consider going for a walk or host a potluck dinner party. Thinking outside the box of how we spend our time with others is another act of self-care that can benefit ourselves and our environment.
Self-care encourages us to become more mindful and aware of our needs, and one of the most common needs we experience is knowing when to take a breath. Reconnecting with our breath is an important part of self-care, but it can be challenging to find the best way how. For some, taking a deep breath is enough. For others, lying down on a woven towel while listening to relaxing music is more effective. Find whatever way works for you, as this is a proven practice to look within and evaluate your needs.
Take a Bath
Taking a bath is a soothing and therapeutic self-care practice that eases both the mind and body. When we sit back and soak ourselves in the tub, we benefit from the extra TLC of simply resting our bodies in a quiet and relaxing environment (music optional!). Some may want to use a face-mask and be surrounded with candles while soaking, and if you enjoy that ambience, then go for it. If you’re interested in trying a lower waste alternative, consider using a homemade face mask with two parts cocoa powder, one part honey (or your preferred vegan alternative) and one part yogurt.
Make Time for Rest
Establishing and maintaining a routine is another effective and waste-free self-care practice, as it constructs boundaries in order to maintain a healthy balance in our day-to-day lives. With these boundaries in place, ensure that you are going to bed around the same time everyday in order to get enough sleep to function at your best.
Caring for Ourselves and our Environment
Self-care and taking care of our environment go hand in hand. There are many ways we can practice self-care when we need it without creating excess waste. So don’t hesitate to take a break and evaluate your needs. Life maintains its fullness when you do.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
Pomp and Sass’s woven towels are lightweight, absorbent, and get softer over time.